Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks (TV Edition): Superheroes/Superpowers

For the fourth and final week of February 2017 of the Thursday Movie Picks hosted by Wanderer of Wandering Through the Shelves. We once again go into the world of television as the focus is on superheroes and superpowers. An interesting choice despite the fact that I don’t watch a lot of TV shows but here are the choices that I pick:

1. Batman

OK, when it comes to Batman. There are only two men that have so far provided the definitive version of the Caped Crusader in Michael Keaton and Christian Bale in their respective film portrayals. Then there’s Adam West in the 1966 movie and the TV show during the 1960s. Yes, it’s quite campy and silly but it is actually a lot of fun to watch where it has superheroes in tights and fight off villains. Batman and Robin fighting the likes of the Joker, Penguin, the Riddler, and Catwoman (when it’s played either by Eartha Kitt or Julie Newmar) while riding the Batmobile. It’s a whole lot of fun and you get watch Batman… dance!!!!!

2. Super Friends

For anyone that was born in the late 70s and 1980s must’ve watched this show on Saturday mornings as it feature such great superheroes as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Cyborg, and so many other DC comic heroes. Who wouldn’t enjoy a show with all of these heroes? Yet, it is flawed due in large part to the Wonder Twins who would have the lamest powers ever as they just sucked the fun leaving Batman and Superman having to save their no-talent asses.

3. Captain Planet and the Planeteers

We go from the cool superheroes to the lame ones as this early 90s shit-fest came at a time when environmentalism was the thing. Yeah, we need to learn to take care of planet but not in this heavy-handed edutainment bullshit where you have five kids from different parts of the world wearing five rings as they would summon Captain Planet to help the world as it features a lame theme song which is a rip-off of New Kids on the Blocks’ Step by Step. It’s just lame as I often rooted for Captain Pollution. To think, people thought about making a film version of the show which won’t be as good as what Don Cheadle did with the character.

© thevoid99 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Nanook of the North

Written, directed, shot, and co-edited by Robert J. Flaherty, Nanook of the North is a silent docudrama about an Inuk man named Nanook and his family living in the Canadian Arctic region. Considered to be one of the very first examples of the documentary, the film follows a man’s life in the course of three weeks as it play into the lifestyle of a man cut off from the modern world. The result is a fascinating film from Robert J. Flaherty.

Shot in the Canadian Arctic region north of Quebec, the film is a look into the life of a man named Nanook (Allakariallak) and his family living in the cold and unforgiving environment. Through the usage of inter-title cards, the film showcases the life of the Inuit people and how they survive through the harsh conditions near the Arctic such as trading, hunting, and building igloos. While it is later revealed years after its 1922 release that director Robert J. Flaherty would stage some scenes in the film for dramatic purposes such as the building of the igloos, the trade post scene, and a walrus hunting scene. It does show an idea of what life is as it play into the world that is removed from conventional society.

Shot on black-and-white with some colored filters, Flaherty’s direction would feature a lot of wide and medium shots to capture the location with some close-ups to get a look into Nanook and his family as they’re also played by actors. Still, he captures something that does feel authentic in the way he films the life of Inuit settlers and how they manage to endure the harsh cold weather of their environment. Though there’s some moments in the film where the pacing is sluggish due to scenes that do go on a little long and it gets repetitive despite some nice editing by Flaherty and co-editor Charles Gelb. Still, Flaherty gets a very engrossing look into the life as well as how they kill seals and catch fish to feed their families. The film’s music by Timothy Brock from its reissue in the late 1990s is mostly piano-based music that has a sense of melancholia to play into the hardship that these characters endure.

Nanook of the North is a marvelous film from Robert J. Flaherty. Whether or not it can be truly defined as a documentary, it is still an important historical piece that showcase the ideas of what a documentary does in revealing life as it is no matter how foreign it can be. In the end, Nanook of the North is a splendid film from Robert J. Flaherty.

© thevoid99 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2017 Blind Spot Series: Hoop Dreams

Directed and narrated by Steve James and written by James and Frederick Marx, Hoop Dreams is a film that follows the lives of two high school students from Chicago and their dream to become professional basketball players. Filmed in the course of five years as it was originally meant to be a thirty-minute short film made for PBS. The film showcases the journey of two boys in William Gates and Arthur Agee and their hopes to make it so they can use their skills in basketball to give them a better life away from the violent-ridden streets in the poor sections of Chicago. The result is a rapturous and intoxicating film from Steve James.

The film follows the lives of two kids from the inner-city areas of Chicago who both dream of making it to the NBA as a way to get themselves and their families out of the ghetto. Shot in the course of nearly five years through the entirety of these two boys life in high school where they both start out at St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois where Isiah Thomas had attended. Throughout the entirety of the film, the parallel lives of William Gates and Arthur Agee would showcase the many ups and downs they would endure in their high school career with a lot of expectations laid upon them. While they both start out as freshman at the prestigious private school, only Gates would play in the varsity team, under the leadership of coach Gene Pingatore, where he would display a lot of promise into the first two years while getting financial aid and such to be at the school despite ninety-minute commute from Chicago to Westchester.

Agee would arrive at the school in a similar manner yet would only be at the school for nearly a year-and-a-half due to rising tuition as his family were unable to pay for his sophomore year as only he only played for the school in its freshman team. Despite meeting his idol in Isiah Thomas, the experience at St. Joseph was bitter forcing Agee to attend the more public Marshall High School in Chicago. The film does have this air of a rise-and-fall or fall-to-rise scenario as it relates to both Gates and Agee, respectively, in the way they would encounter their own environments and personal situations. The latter would endure his own family breaking up with his drug-addicted father struggling to be clean and would leave for a time before redeeming himself during Agee’s junior year and be there for him in his senior year.

Both Gates and Agee wouldn’t just struggle with academics but also the demands of living up to their potential as basketball players. Gates would be able to balance both as he was well-liked at St. Joseph but when he injured his right knee in his junior year. Things began to change as he struggled to get back in the game as he also had hard time living up to Pingatore’s demands. While Agee would go through a harder time academically where he would attend summer school during his junior and senior years. He would eventually succeed in basketball where he would take Marshall to the semi-finals of the state championship in his senior year where they finished third. Though Agee’s academics were good enough to get him to a junior college, it was Gates that would go to Marquette in Wisconsin yet he would question a lot of things in the course of the last two years of his high school tenure.

Steve James’ direction is very intimate in the way he capture the four years in the life of these two boys as it’s shot largely in hand-held cameras often inside cars or at the school with the aid of cinematographer Peter Gilbert and several camera operators in the course of the shooting. James, co-writer/co-producer Frederick Marx, and editor William Haugse would gather more than 250 hours of footage as the editing is a highlight of the film. Notably in the usage of slow-motion and other stylized cutting to help tell the story and move it back and forth in the different stories of Gates and Agee. James’ direction help add a lot to the story where it also showcases the dangers of the inner city as that dream of making it to the NBA is something that is a gateway out of the idea of possible death in the streets.

The sound work of Adam Singer and Tom Yore would help play into the world of the ghetto as well as the raucous atmosphere of the games including the state tournament games in Champaign, Illinois while Yore would create some score music with main music producer Ben Sidran as it‘s music soundtrack largely consists of hip-hop and jazz music. The music at times is somber as it relates to the struggle that these two boys endure but also have something that play into where they come from and the need to do something great.

Hoop Dreams is an outstanding film from Steve James. Not only is it a riveting sports documentary but it’s a whole lot more as it follow the lives of two boys trying to make it out of the inner city through their skills playing basketball. It’s a film that covers so much yet manages to do with such humanity as well as an understanding of where these boys come from and the struggle they have to endure to reach the impossible dream. In the end, Hoop Dreams is a magnificent film from Steve James.

© thevoid99 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Sound Barrier

Directed by David Lean and written by Terence Rattigan, The Sound Barrier is the story of a test pilot who takes part in an experiment with aircraft designers to try and break the sound barrier where its owner is hoping for the experiment to succeed. The film is a mixture of drama mixed in with documentary footage about the attempts to break the sound barrier in the aftermath of World War II. Starring Ralph Richardson, Ann Todd, Nigel Patrick, John Justin, and Denholm Elliott. The Sound Barrier is a riveting film from David Lean.

The film follows the son-in-law of a wealthy aircraft design company owner who becomes a test pilot as they embark on breaking the sound barrier. It’s a film with a simple premise yet it is more about a man’s obsession with wanting to do the impossible just as World War II is about to end as he sees that his daughter’s new husband might be the right person to break the sound barrier. Terence Rattigan’s screenplay explore the sense of ambition as well as the desire to do something new and see if the impossible can be overcome. Yet, there is also some conflict over these ambitions where the protagonist in the owner John Ridgefield (Ralph Richardson) who is looking into the future as he is already on board on the emerging jet engine at the time.

Though he had plans for his son Chris (Denholm Elliott) to be the test pilot, it would be his new son-in-law Tony Garthwaite (Nigel Patrick) that would take on the role but becomes conflicted as he has just started a blissful life with Ridgefield’s daughter Susan (Ann Todd). The heart of the film is this conflict between Susan and her father as the former disapproves of her father’s ambitions just as she and Tony are making a life of their own with a child on the way. Tony is caught in the middle of this conflict as he wants to do the things as a test pilot but is also aware of the risks when he reads about a test pilot’s death in the second act. Even as the events in the third act where Susan and her father become estranged due to the former’s disdain for what her father wants showcase some of the fallacies of ambition despite Ridgefield’s good intentions.

David Lean’s direction is definitely stylish in some respects where it has some gorgeous compositions for the dramatic moments in the film while the aerial scenes are exquisite in its mixture of documentary footage and in re-created fashion. Much of the film is shot at Shepperton Studios with some of it shot on various locations in the British countryside near airfields as the scenes set in the ground have an intimacy in its close-ups and medium shots in how some look into the way planes are being flown as well as the meetings between the family. Especially in scenes where there is tension looming between Susan and Ridgefield as it play into this conflict of Susan wanting something where men in her family don’t have to live under the shadow of her father which is something Chris struggles with. The aerial scenes definitely have this vast look where Lean would use not just documentary footage of Britain’s own experiment with jet engines but also try and create moments where it could happen as some of it is inspired by actual events. Notably the film’s climax where a test pilot would try to break the sound barrier as it proves into what could be done. Overall, Lean crafts an engaging yet thrilling film about an aircraft owner’s desire to see the sound barrier broken.

Cinematographer Jack Hildyard does brilliant work with the film‘s black-and-white photography for the gorgeous look of some of the aerial scenes including the shots overlooking some of the locations as well as some of the interior scenes set at night along with the exterior nighttime scenes. Editor Geoffrey Foot does excellent work with the editing as it is straightforward with some intricate rhythmic cutting for some of the aerial sequences. Art director Joseph Bato does amazing work with the look of the airfield including Ridgefield‘s office and his home which is quite lavish as it play into his big personality. Costume designer Elizabeth Hennings does nice work with the costumes from the air force uniforms and suits as well as the clothes that Susan wears. The sound work of John Cox and sound editor Winston Ryder is incredible for the way jet engine sounds as well as some of the sparse moments at the homes of some of the characters. The film’s music by Malcolm Arnold is superb for its orchestral score that is bombastic with its string arrangements as well as in some of the somber moments for the dramatic aspects of the film.

The film’s wonderful cast include some notable small roles from Joseph Tomelty as aircraft designer Will Sparks, Dinah Sheridan as one of the test pilot’s wife in Jess Peel, John Justin as an inventive test pilot in Philip Peel, and Denholm Elliott as Susan’s brother Christopher who is reluctant to be his father’s premier test pilot. Nigel Patrick is excellent as Tony Garthwaite as an accomplished war pilot who is hoping for a great life with his new bride Susan while given the chance to do the impossible where he isn’t sure about taking such a grand risk. Ann Todd is brilliant as Susan as the daughter of an aircraft design mogul who is eager to start a new life with her husband while coping with the massive expectations and ambitions of her father as it relates to her husband and brother. Finally, there’s Ralph Richardson in a phenomenal performance as John Ridgefield as an aircraft design mogul who is eager to look into the future as he hopes he can give the British air force something new as well as break the speed barrier unaware of his faults in his thirst to see the impossible become possible.

The Sound Barrier is a remarkable film from David Lean. Featuring a great cast, exhilarating aerial sequences, and a compelling story of ambition and glory. It’s a film that explore the emergence of the modern world as well as man’s desire to do make the impossible possible. In the end, The Sound Barrier is a sensational film from David Lean.

David Lean Films: (In Which We Serve) - (This Happy Breed) - Blithe Spirit - Brief Encounter - (Great Expectations (1946 film)) - (Oliver Twist (1948 film)) - (The Passionate Friends) - (Madeleine) - Hobson's Choice - (Summertime) - The Bridge on the River Kwai - Lawrence of Arabia - Doctor Zhivago - Ryan's Daughter - (Lost and Found: The Story of Cook’s Anchor) - A Passage to India

© thevoid99 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Chile, Obstinate Memory

Directed and narrated by Patricio Guzman, Chile, Obstinate Memory is a documentary film in which Guzman returns from exile to Chile to screen his trilogy of documentaries in The Battle of Chile for the first time in his home country while reflecting on what Chile has become. The film is a reflective look at a man returning home as he also talks to those who lived in the time when the country was under the rule of Augusto Pinochet. The result is a somber and evocative film from Patricio Guzman.

Returning to his home country nearly twenty-three years living in exile where only a few of his relatives have survived, the film has Patricio Guzman follow several individuals who were part of the Unidad Popular party, Salvador Allende’s personnel, and individuals who try to look back at the events of September 11, 1973 when a coup d’etat emerged and overthrew Allende in favor of a darker regime. The film has Guzman not only reflecting on that period when he made his trilogy of documentaries but also coming back to a country that is trying to suppress memories of those times as well as the rule of Augusto Pinochet following its coup which ended in 1988 following a referendum. With the help of cinematographers Eric Pittard and Paolo Saura, Guzman would have the camera all over Santiago, Chile including a sequence at the Presidential palace where Guzman have one of Allende’s former guards in the place pretending to be a crew member holding a tripod.

Interviewing bodyguards and Allende’s chambermaid at the palace, they all talk about what happened on that day of the coup as it would also include discussions about Unidad Popular and why it fell apart. Even as students debate over what it succeeded to do but also what it failed to do as some of them are conservative but not in an extreme way. Guzman would also feature some archival TV interview from Allende’s widow Hortensia Bussi who had to wait 17 years for her husband to receive a proper funeral that she could attend while still waiting for personal effects including photo albums to return to her. Guzman also touched on the disappearance of many people in the aftermath of the coup where many of Allende’s supporters were never seen again including members of Guzman’s own family as well as Jorge Muller Silva who was the cinematographer in Guzman’s trilogy of documentaries.

With help of editor Helene Girard in showcasing footage from his documentaries as well as a news footage and photos of the events of the coup, Guzman also showcase things in which some of the survivors of torture camps and such would look into. Even filmmakers and professors would talk about what happened where the film would culminate with private screenings of the trilogy of documentaries in four universities in Chile since public screening for the films is something that couldn’t be done then due to distributors’ fear of upsetting the people of Chile. Especially as Guzman would use sounds of the events with the aid of sound editor Leopoldo Gutierrez as the aftermath of the screening is quite devastating considering that a generation of kids who hadn‘t known much about the events of the coup are forced to face the reality of what happened. The film’s music by Robert Marcel Lepage is low-key as it play into traditional woodwind music of Chile yet its soundtrack is largely dominated by a performance of Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig Van Beethoven that is performed by Guzman’s uncle who also talks about what happens as he’s one of the few relatives who had survived the awful events during Pinochet’s reign of terror.

Chile, Obstinate Memory is an incredible film from Patricio Guzman. It’s not just this very personal and engrossing film about a man returning home to his home country but also reflect on the events that shaped his country and allow a group of people to see the documentaries he made about those events. In the end, Chile, Obstinate Memory is a phenomenal film from Patricio Guzman.

Related: The Battle of Chile Pt. 1 - The Battle of Chile Pt. 2 - The Battle of Chile Pt. 3

© thevoid99 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Battle of Chile Pt 3: Popular Power

Directed by Patricio Guzman, The Battle of Chile Pt. 3: Popular Power is the third and final film of a trilogy of documentaries chronicling the events of the September 11, 1973 coup d’etat as the film explore the Unidad Popular movement from March of 1972 and how it managed to defy the odds against conservative forces before the end of Salvador Allende’s rule as president of Chile. The film follows the same visual format but it is more about the rise and fall of Unidad Popular and how it managed to connect with the people at a time of conflict with the conservative and bourgeoisie as it’s narrated by Abilio Fernandez. The result is a compelling and somber film from Patricio Guzman.

Shot from March of 1972 to the summer of 1973 before the coup d’etat of September 11, 1973, the film is an exploration into the Unidad Popular party and its methods to keep Chile going despite the strikes and shortage of supplies led by the more conservative Christian Democratic party with the aid of U.S. government. The film follow not just the events where Unidad Popular would defy the odds and create a system for themselves but also find ways to create a community amidst the political turmoil in the country. While many of the views in the film definitely lean towards Marxism/socialism, it does showcase what the working class in Chile are dealing with against the opposition that is largely bourgeoisie.

The film is more structured than its predecessors where it focuses on what is going on in the streets and in working class areas in the first half while the second half is more about land owned by rich landowners that aren’t being used as well as the plight of the miners and workers at repair shops. The first half focuses on an attempted trucker’s strike which was driven by both members of the conservative/bourgeoisie members of congress with the aid of the U.S. government as they try to stop supplies from being reached to the people in an act of defiance against its president Salvador Allende. The second half showcases the movement against landowners who refuse to have their land used to create crops and resources for the country where workers do whatever they can to fight the landowners.

Patricio Guzman’s direction is definitely straightforward with its usage of hand-held cameras as it’s shot in black-and-white with the aid of cinematographer Jorge Muller Silva (whom the film is dedicated to) as it play into the events that is happening with Guzman talking directly to the people in their plight. Especially as they try and support Allende as much as they can. Editor Pedro Chaskel would gather some news footage and interviews that play into the situations where Guzman and Silva would go inside the mines or see how workers do whatever they can to get the needed supplies to the people. The sound work of Bernardo Menz would capture the sound of those protest marches during those times as it play into the growth and power of Unidad Popular and the influence it would have in various industries all over Chile. The film’s music by Jose Antonio Quintano is mostly low-key as it largely consists of traditional woodwind music to play into some of the quiet moments where the movement had succeeded despite the dark times what was to come.

The Battle of Chile Pt. 3: Popular Power is a remarkable film from Patricio Guzman. While it’s a more somber documentary that is focused on the people who are part of a movement against the more traditional and bourgeoisie society in Chile. It is still a fascinating film that explore the ideas of socialism as well as a country’s attempt to maintain a sense of community during a tumultuous time in Chile’s history. In the end, The Battle of Chile Pt. 3: Popular Power is a marvelous film from Patricio Guzman.

Related: The Battle of Chile Pt. 1 - The Battle of Chile Pt. 2 - Chile, Obstinate Memory

© thevoid99 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Hobson's Choice

Based on the play by Harold Brighouse, Hobson’s Choice is the story of a boot shop owner in Victorian England who copes with his eldest daughter’s decision to live her own life and marry his boot smith. Directed by David Lean and screenplay by Lean, Wynyard Browne, and Norman Spencer, the film is an exploration of a man coping with changes as he tries to maintain his own ideas while his daughters would rebel against the old rules. Starring Charles Laughton, Brenda De Banzie, Daphne Anderson, Prunella Scales, Richard Wattis, Derek Blomfield, and John Mills. Hobson’s Choice is a riveting and delightful film from David Lean.

Set in the late 1800s at Lancashire, the film revolves a boot shop owner whose life is about to change when his eldest daughter decides to marry his best boot smith and start her own business after hearing that she is considered too old to be married. It’s a film that play into this man who is quite pompous and often quite selfish as he pays more attention in going to a pub to drink rather than give his daughters the freedom to make something of themselves. Even as his best boot smith is feeling unappreciated for his work when a posh customer commends his work but still gets underpaid. The film’s screenplay doesn’t just explore the ideals of Henry Hobson (Charles Laughton) but also someone that wants to operate everything from his business to his life at home a certain way. Even as he wants his two youngest daughters to be married but with men of his choice rather than their own choice while his eldest daughter Maggie (Brenda De Banzie) is thirty-years-old as he think she’s too old to get married and would rather have her run the business and household which she’s good at.

When Maggie hears what her father has said about her to his friends at the local pub, she realizes that she has to do something for her own independence where she forces her father’s best boot smith in Willie Mossop (John Mills) to marry him and take part in a partnership where he would make the boots and she would sell them and run the business. It’s a move that shocks her father who tries to move on without her but both Alice (Daphne Anderson) and Vicky (Prunella Scales) have a hard time trying to run the household and the business. One of the unique aspects of the script is the developing relationship between Maggie and Willie where even though it’s the former that is doing all of the decision-making. It’s Willie who would become much smarter and more confident as he starts off as someone with little ambition but through Maggie’s patience in educating him and learning bits about the business.

Willie would come into his own while Maggie finds an equal in her life which would inspire Alice and Vicky to find men that they want to marry in their own terms. It’s something that Hobson would struggle with but also his own negligence towards his daughters and the fact that he’s an alcoholic. Hobson is a very unique character who is either oblivious in his selfishness or stubborn in his refusal to accept the changes around him. Especially at one point where he goes to the pub because the dinner Alice and Vicky made for him wasn’t satisfactory to his liking as it would play into the fact that times are changing and all of his bad vices and behaviors is catching up with him.

David Lean’s direction is definitely mesmerizing not just for its sense of theatricality since much of the film is shot in soundstages with some of it exteriors shot in old areas in Manchester where the film is partially set. While there are some wide shots to establish some of the locations, Lean would go for something that is more intimate in its visuals in the way he captures life at the shop as well as the raucous world of the pubs. The direction also has Lean create some moments that are quite surreal as it relates to Hobson’s alcoholic state late in the film such as a scene early in the second half where he sees the moon reflected on puddles and tries to stomp them out. The direction also has a theatricality in some of the wide shots such as the very first time one of Maggie’s sisters sees Maggie with Willie as well as the day of their wedding dinner where Maggie’s sisters are with the men they want to marry.

The direction also has Lean create moments that are quite humorous but in a very low-key way as it relates to Willie and the situation he’s forced into. Yet, even as he is developed into a more educated man with ideas of his own. There is still aspects of him that is quite simple where Lean would create a simple shot as it has something that is also very enjoyable. Notably the sequence of the wedding night where it’s about Willie trying to figure what to do while Maggie is in the other room. The film’s climax isn’t just about what Maggie and Willie had achieved but also a fall of sorts for Hobson who is forced to face reality about himself and the situation he’s in as it relates to his business. Overall, Lean crafts a witty yet whimsical film about a boot shop owner trying to deal with changing times and his own faults.

Cinematographer Jack Hildyard does excellent work with the film‘s black-and-white photography from the gorgeous exterior shots in the park and in the day to some of the interior scenes at night including at the home/shop that Maggie and Willie live/work at. Editor Peter Taylor does superb work with editing as it is largely straightforward with a few rhythmic cuts for some of the film‘s surreal moments. Art director Wilfred Shingleton does brilliant work with the art direction from the look of Hobson’s boot shop and the basement where the boots are made to the pub where Hobson frequents at.

Costume designer John Armstrong does fantastic work with the period costumes as well as the design of the boots that are made and the ragged suit of Hobson. The sound work of John Cox is terrific for the simplicity of the sound as well as the raucous atmosphere of the pubs. The film’s music by Malcolm Arnold is wonderful for its low-key yet playful orchestral music while music director Muir Matheson provide a soundtrack filled with the traditional pub songs of the times.

The film’s incredible cast feature some notable small roles from John Laurie as Dr. MacFarlane, Dorothy Gordon as Willie’s original fiancĂ©e, Julien Mitchell as the pub owner, Gibb McLaughlin and Philip Stainton as a couple of pub regulars who are friends of Hobson, Jack Howarth as another boot maker at Hobson’s shop, and Helen Haye as the posh customer who appreciates Willie’s work as she would play an integral part in Willie and Maggie’s new business. Derek Blomfield and Richard Wattis are superb in their respective roles as the corn merchant Freddy Beenstock and the solicitor Albert Prosser as the two men whom Vicky and Alice, respectively, want to marry while they would also be involved with Maggie and Willie’s business.

Prunella Scales is excellent as the youngest daughter Vicky who often does the cleaning as she also tries to cook for her father while Daphne Anderson is fantastic as the middle daughter Alice who knows how to run and manage the business but is aware that it’s not enough for her father. John Mills is brilliant as Willie Mossop as a boot smith who is good at what he does while he finds himself being in a business venture with Maggie where he realizes that he has a lot more to offer. Brenda De Banzie is amazing as Maggie Hobson as a 30-year old woman who decides to go into business by herself with Willie as she is someone with a lot of brains while realizing there’s more to Willie as she falls for him. Finally, there’s Charles Laughton in a phenomenal performance as Henry Hobson as a boot shop owner who prides himself in being the best at what he does but is often very selfish and often drinks himself unaware that he’s done a lot to hurt his family as well as be a fool to himself.

Hobson’s Choice is a sensational film from David Lean that features tremendous performances from Charles Laughton, Brenda De Banzie, and John Mills. It’s a film that has a lot of wit but also a compelling story about changing times and a man’s selfish refusal to accept it. In the end, Hobson’s Choice is a spectacular film from David Lean.

David Lean Films: (In Which We Serve) - (This Happy Breed) - Blithe Spirit - Brief Encounter - (Great Expectations (1946 film)) - (Oliver Twist (1948 film)) - (The Passionate Friends) - (Madeleine) - The Sound Barrier - (Summertime) - The Bridge on the River Kwai - Lawrence of Arabia - Doctor Zhivago - Ryan's Daughter - (Lost and Found: The Story of Cook’s Anchor) - A Passage to India

© thevoid99 2017